Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fall from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the deep hole that leads to the bottomless pit. Then it opened up the hole that leads to the bottomless pit, and smoke came up from the hole like smoke from a big furnace. Then the sun and sky became dark because of the smoke from the hole. Then locusts came down to the earth out of the smoke, and they were given the power to sting like scorpions.[a] They were told not to harm the grass on the earth or any plant or tree. They could harm only the people who did not have the sign of God on their foreheads. These locusts were not given the power to kill anyone, but to cause pain to the people for five months. And the pain they felt was like the pain a scorpion gives when it stings someone. During those days people will look for a way to die, but they will not find it. They will want to die, but death will run away from them.

The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore what looked like crowns of gold, and their faces looked like human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their chests looked like iron breastplates, and the sound of their wings was like the noise of many horses and chariots hurrying into battle. 10 The locusts had tails with stingers like scorpions, and in their tails was their power to hurt people for five months. 11 The locusts had a king who was the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in the Hebrew language is Abaddon and in the Greek language is Apollyon.[b]

12 The first trouble is past; there are still two other troubles that will come.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns on the golden altar that is before God. 14 The voice said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Free the four angels who are tied at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And they let loose the four angels who had been kept ready for this hour and day and month and year so they could kill a third of all people on the earth. 16 I heard how many troops on horses were in their army—two hundred million.

17 The horses and their riders I saw in the vision looked like this: They had breastplates that were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow like sulfur. The heads of the horses looked like heads of lions, with fire, smoke, and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 18 A third of all the people on earth were killed by these three terrible disasters coming out of the horses’ mouths: the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur. 19 The horses’ power was in their mouths and in their tails; their tails were like snakes with heads, and with them they hurt people.

20 The other people who were not killed by these terrible disasters still did not change their hearts and turn away from what they had made with their own hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—things that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 These people did not change their hearts and turn away from murder or evil magic, from their sexual sins or stealing.


  1. 9:3 scorpions A scorpion is an insect that stings with a bad poison.
  2. 9:11 Abaddon, Apollyon Both names mean “Destroyer.”